New Year’s Tech Predictions

Will 2012 be a boring year for technology?

6 January 2012

With each new year often come predictions for upcoming tech trends. For example, IBM recently reported its five tech predictions for the next five years, which include mind-reading computers.

But what about 2012? Some analysts don’t see such grand innovations this year, according to an article on, which quoted two IEEE members.

“We’ll have to wait for consumer spending to go up before the ‘flying surfboard’ arrives,” said Chris Stephenson, cofounder and partner at the consulting firm ARRYVE, in the article. “Bigger innovation labs and companies are holding back on numerous innovations until they can properly monetize them.”

Although the year might not see groundbreaking developments, IEEE Fellow Nahum Gerson was optimistic that several new gadgets will be introduced. “There’s no stopping the consumerization of technology in 2012,” he said.  

Analysts’ predictions include innovations in social media, tablet computers, mobile apps, and cloud computing.

Another IEEE Fellow, Jeffrey Voas, cautioned that this will be the year of a troublesome tech trend: widespread mobile hacking. [Look for our article in February on Voas’s work, which found malware in more than 2000 free smartphone apps]

“Smartphone owners are increasingly paying a high price for free mobile applications, with 2012 set to be a disruptive year of widespread mobile hacking,” he noted in the Fox news article.

Other tech trends envisioned by IEEE members include the convergence of home networking technologies, patient monitoring technology moving to the home, and an increased focus on streaming web-based video. IEEE members will be discussing these and other trends at the annual Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas.

But as Stephenson points out, none of the predictions include particularly mind-blowing developments. Instead they seem to be improvements to existing technologies.

Will 2012 be a stagnant year for technology? What innovations would you like to see happen? Share your thoughts below.

Photo: Konstantin-Inozemtsev/iStockphoto

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